Abramson Center in Horsham celebrates its centenarians
Few senior care facilities can boast of having numerous centenarians in their facility. At the Madelyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life in Horsham, though, staff and family celebrated the lives of 21 residents who will be 100 or have surpassed a century in 2013 March 21.
“We have to have one of the largest groups of centenarians in the commonwealth,” Abramson President and CEO Carol Irvine said. She believes more of the center’s residents live longer because of the tailored care staff provides. “,W’s fiJurLnJ RuW whDW [rHsLdents] have always enjoyed doing and maintaining that.”
To back that theory, the 21 centenarians at Abramson only have the center in common. There are 20 women and one man who come from diverse backgrounds and enjoy different things. Director of Recreration Sarah Humes, who assisted in putting the celebration together, said 11 of the centenarians are from Philadelphia, three from other regions of the country and six from other countries. She said they vary from homekeepers to book-keepers and range in ages this year from 100 to 104.
In total, Humes said, among the 21 centenarians, there are 44 children, 91 grandchildren, 97 greatgrandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
“We take people’s abilities,” Humes said about the tailored programs at Abramson, “and we help WhHP IuOfiOO WhH WhLnJs WhHy wDnW WR IuOfiOO.”
She said these dreams can be anything, including traveling, athletic activities or religious programs. Humes said the important thing is to help the residents continue to live.
However, many of the centenarians have their own opinions on why they’ve enjoyed a long life.
“My main tip to people is every day that you live, you should learn one new thing,” 100-year-old Frank Gerson said. He is the only man among the centenarians. “And every day that you awaken, you have a choice: you can be negative or posi- tive. I decide to be positive continuously.”
Gerson’s family and friends said no matter what is going on, every day he wakes up and says its a “fabulous” day.
The 20 women of the group shared similar ideas about staying positive.
“Live a nice, clean loving, sincere life — that will take you through everything,” 101-year-old Dorothy Schlanger said. “A sense of humor is also important.”
“From 1913 to 2013 was quite a stretch. I went through everything ... poverty, the Holocaust, the depression, and raised three children,” soon to be 100 Clare Bitman said. “It’s hard work. vou just have to live through it.”
In celebration of the group’s milestone, each centenarian was honored with a special citation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Additionally, each received a stained glass frame from Abramson.
“This is more than I could have even imagined,” resident and co-planner for the celebration Marilyn Snader said. “This is wonderful for all these wonderful people. I am very happy to be here on this special occasion. It’s nice to look around and see all these beautiful people.”
Rabbi Debrah Cohen, Abramson Hospice Spiritual Care Coordinator, congratulates resident 101-year-old Dorothy Schlanger March 21.
Abramson Center resident Ann Brownstein, 102, attended the celebration with son Len Brownstein.